ISTANBUL - The transcontinental city of Istanbul in Eurasia, ranked as the world's fifth largest, is hosting the 5th World Cup this year. The world top in three cushion gathers from 12 till 18 October in the Zeytinoglu Caddesi stadium in Besiktas, Istanbul. Tournament director and well known player Gökhan Salman welcomes the field of players and spectators for a next highlight in the World Cup series.
The venue is in the middle of Istanbul, near to Bosporus Bridge in a sports centre of a private school. Gökhan Salman: ,,The centre is not very big and that will give this World Cup much more warm atmosphere. We really hope to have a great World Cup in Istanbul!''
Gökhan Salman is ready for his first tournament as overall director. ,,The idea came out from our President of Turkish billiard federation, Mr. Ersan Ercan. He knows that it's much easier for players and delegates to get in touch with me, because I am a player myself.''
Torbjörn Blomdahl is currently ranked nr. 1 in the world, Dani Sánchez is last World Cup's winner in Guri, South Korea with a 2.739 record average. The Spaniard, who stayed a few weeks more in South Korea and Japan after his victory, played the Japan Cup and showed his blistering form in the run-up to Istanbul with two world class matches in the bundesliga.
The Turkish audience is not only waiting for Tayfun Tasdemir's return to the World Cup stage, where he shone in the last two tournaments with a victory in Hochiminh (Vietnam) and a final place in Guri against the untouchable Dani Sánchez. Many eyes will also focus on the magician Semih Sayginer, who was rewarded with a wildcard by the organization.
The fifth stop of the World Cup series after Luctor, Porto, Hochiminh and Guri counts a number of 149 players. A total of twenty countries are represented, Turkey has the biggest contingency with 36 players. There is a 5.500 euro prize money at stake for the winner and valuable points for the world rankings.
The top twelve ranked players are Torbjörn Blomdahl, Dick Jaspers, Eddy Merckx, Sung-Won Choi, Tayfun Tasdemir, Marco Zanetti, Dani Sánchez, Jae Ho Cho, Roland Forthomme, Frédéric Caudron, Hyung Bum Hwang and Sameh Sidhom. The wildcards are handed out to Luis Aveiga (Ecuador), Xuan Cuong Ma (Vietnam), Regay Henry (Egypt) and Semih Sayginer and Adnan Yüksel on behalf of the host country.
In addition, many famous stars come to the arena, like Lütfi Cenet, Murat Naci Coklu, Jung Han Heo, Quyet Chien Tran, Jérémy Bury, Eddy Leppens, Birol Uymaz, Jean Paul de Bruijn, Quoc Nguyen Nguyen, Tolgahan Kiraz, Pedro Piedrabuena, Javier Palazón, Arnim Kahofer, Emrullah Basegmez, Riad Nady, Nick Polychronopoulos, Murat Tüzül, Christian Rudolph, Juan Jose Garcia, Ahmet Alp, Savas Bulut, Anh Vu Duong, Gökhan Salman and the ladies world champion Therese Klompenhouwer.
The city of Istanbul organized a World Cup seven times before in its long history. Sang Sung Lee (1993), Dick Jaspers (1994), Torbjörn Blomdahl (1995, 1996, 2005 and 2006) and Jae Ho Cho (2014) were the winners.
All matches can be viewed live at www.kozoom.com. Don't miss it and enjoy the wonderful Turkish atmosphere.